Over consecutive weeks I have couple of friend and a cousin who cannot use their laptops because they forgot or dont know the password for the administrator to login.
The initial assumption is to reformat it, but there are two steps to retrieve the password before attempting to reformat or bring it to a service technician.
1. Built in password reset disk creation in XP and Vista. When you enable password for the administrator in Vista or XP on the User Accounts, there is an option to create a password reset disk which is designed for future use incase you forget it. This is one option if you created one. But the truth is who creates one? maybe network administrators but not the common PC users.
2. If first option is not available to you,then you can search for a password boot disk which will disable the administrator password. There are dozens of these types of programs but one program I recommend is PC Login Now 2.0. Download the iso file and burn it to a disk to create the boot disk, that simple. Configure your pc or laptop to boot in the cd drive, insert the CD and it would boot then just disable the password and restart. Took about 5 minutes for the whole process.
And from that effort, my friend gave me my request for Absolut Vodka, not bad for a 5 minute work which took them about a month trying without any success.